Enjoy a Safe, Healthy Summer with these Simple Tips

For kids, summertime consists of bare feet, busy hands and fast-paced adventures.  Every day holds new activities, making those action-packed three months even more exciting. Ensuring your child’s health and safety this summer is a priority and it’s important they know the basics of sun, water and playground safety.

Keep your kids informed with these simple tips from Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Fun in the Sun

As we all know, using protective sunscreen is important when spending time in the sun. For the best sun protection, experts recommend using a minimum SPF sunscreen of 15, applying the proper amount (about one ounce for full body coverage) and reapplying every 80 to 90 minutes. The SPF of sunscreen and the frequency of reapplication can also depend on skin type, intensity of sunlight and the amount of sunscreen used. If your child begins to experience any sunburn symptoms, apply more frequently or use a higher SPF.

As the sun heats up, there are also increased risks of dehydration and heat stroke. Be sure to pack water bottles for sporting events and other outdoor activities. Keep your children hydrated by creating a fun activity or game that involves drinking water regularly throughout the day, especially during times of high heat and humidity. If the temperatures get to be too extreme, reduce the intensity of activity or head inside for some indoor fun.

Play Safe

A playground is a place of fun and excitement, but be sure to find an environment that will best suit the age of your child. Make sure all surfaces underneath the equipment are soft enough to absorb falls to avoid any injuries.

Show your child which pieces of equipment are age-appropriate. Play areas for different age groups should be separate and properly identified with specially designed equipment. The equipment should be size-appropriate based on age, with toddler and preschool areas equipped with smaller, shorter slides and climbing bars that have rounded edges and smaller grips. Younger children should use a soft, chair-style swing to provide better safety and support.

As always, simple lessons about playing well with others can make for a more fun, relaxing visit to the playground.

Make a Safe Splash

Especially in Minnesota, summer means time enjoying the cool water on a hot day in lakes, in pools and on boats. When boating, it is important that you and your children wear properly fitted life jackets. Setting this example can lead to better long-term habits and makes for a fun, safe family environment. The “buddy system” is the best policy to follow for any swimming activity.” Children, especially those without strong swimming skills, should never be left alone in the water.

Looking for more kid-friendly summer safety tips? Check out the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota summer safety article and Shriners Hospitals for Children summer tips webpage for more great ways to stay healthy this season.

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